Report: Facebook Is Censoring COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Report: Facebook Is Censoring COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Facebook is suppressing comments and posts expressing doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine to “drastically reduce user exposure to vaccine hesitancy,” a new report states.

“Reducing the visibility of these comments represents another significant opportunity for us to remove barriers to vaccination that users on the platform may potentially encounter,” the Facebook documents say.

Project Veritas first reported the censorship after two whistleblowers shared leaked documents demonstrating how the Big Tech company is testing algorithms to limit the spread of vaccine skepticism. The internal memos examined by Project Veritas revealed that the algorithm currently affects 1.5 percent of users who question the immunization on health authority pages.

The hesitancy comments are divided into multiple tiers with labels such as “Indirect Vaccine Discouragement,” “Alarmism & Criticism,” and “Borderline Vaccine (BV) Framework” and matched with certain levels of censorship carried out by Facebook. Any comments that do not explicitly violate Facebook’s community standards, which were recently changed to allow discussion about the possibility of a virus leak from the Wuhan lab, are “tiered [sic] by potential harm and how much context is required in order to evaluate harm.”

“Based on that VH score, we will demote or leave the comment alone depending on the content within the comment,” one of the whistleblowers told Project Veritas.

Facebook told the New York Post that it “proactively announced this policy on our company blog and also updated our help center with this information,” referring to a new policy implemented in March that “add[ed] a label on posts that discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines that notes COVID-19 vaccines go through tests for safety and effectiveness before they’re approved.”

Facebook, however, did not like that one of the whistleblowers, Morgan Kahmann, a data technician at the Big Tech company, raised alarms about how the newest algorithm was being used to silence people. Kahmann recently went public with his identity after Facebook removed him from his office and suspended him.

“What happened was I was at work, and I got a message from my supervisor, out of the blue, basically saying ‘go ahead and wrap up your area and clean up your stuff, gather your personal belongings, and meet me in a meeting room in the lobby of the building.’ They’re basically going to have me meet with the investigative team and grill me on this whole situation,” Kahmann said.

Before he was forced out of the company, Kahmann reportedly obtained documents that confirmed Facebook’s suppression algorithm is live “and being implemented globally across Facebook and Instagram platforms.”

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
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